How big is `Chandramukhi`?
Saturday, 30 April , 2005, 15:31
How big a hit "Chandramukhi" is?- An in-depth analysis on the box-office report of the film in a three part series
It is two weeks since the release of Rajnikanth’s Chandramukhi. How big a hit is the film? Talk to anyone in the film trade and they all agree that Chandramukhi is a hit, but how big? The answer varies from person to person. It also depends on the person’s loyalty or dislike for the superstar. The worst kept secret is that the industry has always been divided into two camps- those who swear by Rajnikanth, and those who say that his days are over!
Sify.com walks the thin dividing line between the two diverse views and tries to fathom the report card of Chandramukhi Please note that the figures that we are talking of, may not be authentic as there is no centralized rating system to show how a film works across Tamilnadu.
In a big city like Chennai, the figures are authentic but beyond the city limits theatres refuse to divulge the figures and most of them do not even pay entertainment tax as they are hand in glove with the local administration to make a fast buck!
Anyway, to the best of our knowledge Chandramukhi is a super hit! All theatres which had paid huge MG (Minimum Guarantee) have recovered their money in about 10 days! Take for example- Vetri theatre in Chrompet, a suburb of Chennai which is said to have paid Rs 20 Lakhs MG, and according to trade sources the theatre recovered the amount in five days and thereby created a new record.
Like Vetri, all theatres were charging arbitrary rates of admission ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 300 in the opening weekend. Most of the theatres outside Chennai city, with a seating capacity of 600 had almost 1000 people watching each show on extra seats, standing and even sitting on the floor! The government says that there should be only four shows but most of the theaters that screened Chandramukhi had five to six shows per day!
The rumour mill has it that Vetri theatre had collected Rs 7, 62,000 gross on the first day making it “unofficially” the highest collection from a single screen for a day in India! Remember, this can happen only with a Rajnikanth film! He is the only superstar after the late MGR who can entice an ordinary movie going public to part with their hard earned money for three hours of pure fantasy.
By extending this logic to other centers screening Chandramukhi in Tamilnadu, only idiots will say that the film has bombed. In plain arithmetic’s, those who had a business deal with Sivaji productions (the producers of the film) – the distributors and exhibitors, all made money.
Forget the trade, even Chandramukhi’s ancillary small scale businesses, like the canteen contractors attached to theatre, cycle and parking lot, auto rickshaw men who fleeced passengers running from one theatre to another screening the film to get tickets and the black marketers – all made a killing out of the film!